Friday, June 05, 2009

Canada's Conservative Government - Missing The Point

I don't think it's any secret that I'm no fan of the current conservative government in Canada. Their handling of several foreign affairs files makes my point for me - this is a government that has placed ideology and assumed guilt ahead of due process and law.

Whether we are talking about Mr. Abdelrazik, Mr. Celil or Omar Khadr, the Conservatives have failed to perform their duty to Canadians who are being detained abroad.

When they file papers like this in court, I think it tells you a great deal about this government's attitude to Canadians who dare travel outside our borders:

Canada's legal duty to protect its citizens, even children, ends at the border and there is nothing in domestic or international law that obliges the government to seek Omar Khadr's repatriation, say federal arguments filed in court.

We don't need to go into the game playing that Mr. Abdelrazik has been subjected to:

In a toughly worded 107-page ruling, Judge Zinn pilloried the government's claims of trying to help Mr. Abdelrazik, concluded that Canadian anti-terrorism agents were implicated in his imprisonment in Sudan, denouncedthe UN terrorist blacklist as an affront to justice and basic human rights and slammed Foreign Minister Lawrence Cannon for high-handedly ignoring due process of law.

When comments like the following are made in Parliament, I think it tells us something about the toxicity of the current government:

Said Justice Minister Rob Nicholson, under fire in the House of Commons Thursday by NDP MP Libby Davies: “Inasmuch as I have never been a member of the NDP, we will actually read the decision before taking a decision on it.”

In short, Minister Nicholson is saying that the government is going to drag its heels on this, and find every way it can to subvert, dodge and avoid carrying out its duty to a Canadian citizen. I don't think I have ever experienced such a small-minded, mean-spirited government...except possibly the PC government in Alberta in recent months.

I have criticized many of their legal reforms as violating all sorts of key principles of justice, and their conduct towards Canadians held abroad is so appalling as to simply leave me wondering if they even understand what law and due process are actually intended to serve.

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